As a nation we ask a lot of the countryside. It must feed us, attract tourists, be accessible for recreation and exercise, generate energy and store carbon. At the same time it must clean the air, provide an escape and inspiration, manage flood water, provide habitats for flora and fauna, and be a good place to live and work for rural communities. We ask all this and much more.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'll keep saying it until people choose to listen. None of this is necessary. We have no need to use and kill animals for food, clothing, entertainment, or any other reason. To harm and kill another being without necessity is profoundly unjust, no matter how you paint it. There is only one way to bring this injustice to an end; and that is, my fellow animal-lovers, for each of us to be the change by being vegan.
The Environment Secretary has failed to act. Her silence is a complete abdication of responsibility. She should be leading an urgent, cross-Departmental response to bring air pollution down to safe levels. Re-doing the consultation and making genuine efforts to engage on air quality must be the first step, for which she will have Labour's full support.
Having a vegan as shadow minister for agriculture may well upset the cosy rapport farmers have with government at the moment, but I thought that was the point of electing Corbyn in the first place. To think the unthinkable and do what's right, rather than what's pragmatic and expedient to the wishes and votes of vested interests.
This is the first time MRSA of livestock origin has been found in British pig meat. The findings add to the growing evidence that overuse of antibiotics in farming is contributing to resistance in life-threatening infections in humans, and supports the call for urgent action to address inappropriate use in farming.